The Rainy Season is the latest release from Americana-country fusion maestro Alf Hale; a soft and heartfelt album that plucks at your heartstrings with ease and brings a careful blend of genres to life in a beautiful manner.
The Rainy Season is like a storm that is gradually building on the horizon; distant but powerful and looming ever closer. What is so refreshing about the melodies that Hale rains down on us is that his album really does function in a way that isn’t dissimilar from the weather. The Rainy Season builds itself up gradually with softer, almost sombre songs such as the title track Rainy Season but it then reaches a crescendo with songs like Sacred that give way to a more powerful torrent of sound. Listening to Hale’s masterpiece it feels as though you are travelling through that powerful storm right from the clustering of the first dark clouds, through the downpours, into the eye of the storm and out the other side again.
This mesmerising and inspirational notion of a signature presents you with a varied and versatile album that holds Hale’s Americana and country at the core but marries them away to rock, folk and even blues. This ever-enrichening experimental notion goes perfectly alongside his deep, dark and moody voice which already sounds as though it is ascending from the heavens. Hale’s songs aren’t all merely the catalyst for this however, they each have their own definable and heartfelt story that tugs at your heart and makes you think. A gifted storyteller, Hale has a mastered the subtle art of laying his prose to music and fusing the two together in an inseparable bond.
This is an album that is warming, powerful and passionate. It is brought to life in a complex and fascinating manner than belays your expectations and allows Hale to unveil the full scope of his repertoire as he experiments with the grandiose aspects of the sound that surrounds him. Rich, powerful and personal, this is music as versatile and variable as your mood.
Review by Joe Knipe